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Will Carter: typographer, designer and letter carver


He was all of the above, and letterpress printer and wood engraver as well. Will Carter (1921-2001) was part of that great flowering of artist-craftsmen in the UK post-WW2. He designed Monotype Klang and collaborated with another 20th century master of the chisel, David Kindersley, in Octavian.

These illustrations are from Carter’s Caps (1982). He writes: ‘The wood used is what is sold in DIY stores for shelving and consists of mahogany veneer on a chip board base.’  Of the R he writes: ‘A more obvious nod towards Trajan, with its strong tail coming out of the bowl. The placing of this, like the proportion of the bowl itself, can make or mar the letter, which, at its best, can be most satisfying of all…’ Of the B: ‘Gill used to liken the lower bowl of a young gill’s buttock – the way it hangs gently’. [Enough said.]

4 Comments leave one →
  1. 25/10/2012 6:32 am

    Thank you for the post. Greetings from Germany.

  2. Jesse permalink
    28/10/2012 12:16 am

    I took this book off the shelf last night to compare it with a rubbing from an alphabet I’m in the middle of carving. It is a wonderful resource by a man I greatly admire. For lack of much competition, Will Carter to my mind is the patron saint of printer/lettercarvers. Thanks for posting this little tribute.

  3. Laurence Sutcliffe permalink
    28/10/2013 11:33 pm

    I’m Will Carter’s grandson, Laurence Sutcliffe. He is much missed. He was a huge inspiration and it’s good to hear he is admired by others as well.

    • john pitt permalink*
      29/10/2013 9:43 am

      Thank you for the kind words Laurence. I did not have the opportunity to meet your grandfather in person but his work made, and still makes, a deep impression. Take care – PS are you a typographer too?

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